Former St Johnstone footballer ordered to hand over crime profits
A FORMER St Johnstone footballer who was jailed after he admitted dealing drugs has been ordered to hand over the £40,000 he made from his crimes.
Martin Maher, 28, who made ten appearances for the McDiarmid Park side in the 2002/03 season, was described as a ‘principal supplier of cocaine to users in Auchterarder’ in Perthshire at the High Court in Edinburgh last year, where he was jailed for four years and three months.
The court heard that Maher, who moved to Forfar Athletic before continuing to play football for junior and amateur sides, earned between £1000 and £5000 per month from working for a well-established firm started by his father.
Those who bought drugs usually knew Maher, a father-of-two, from local football teams, school or work.
A police surveillance operation led to the recovery of one-and-a-half kilograms of cocaine, with an estimated street value of nearly £80,000. A subsequent undercover operation led to a van registered to Maher’s father’s company being stopped on its way back from Cheshire, and a kilogram of drugs being recovered, most of it intended for Maher.
The operation continued, with a further amount of the drug intended for Maher being intercepted. The 28-year-old was arrested after flying back from Spain.
At the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, Maher made an appearance from custody for assets to be seized. The advocate depute asked for the court to record the benefit from the former footballer’s ‘general criminal conduct’ at £40,000 and to make a confiscation order for the sum.
Maher has been given six months to repay the amount.
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